Evaluation of UK’s international obligations
The House of Lords International Relations Select Committee has warned ministers the Britain is ‘on the wrong side of the law’ by continuing to sign-off arms exports for Saudi Arabia to use in the war in Yemen.
The UK has stripped Shamima Begum of her British citizenship in a move which her lawyer has described as excessive because the Government had allowed hundreds of Britons to return, some of whom were suspected of fighting for Isis. The Home Secretary has stated that this is legally possible in not leaving Ms Begum stateless because her parents are of Bangladeshi heritage and therefore she can apply for citizenship of that country.
The Resolution Foundation has published its Living Standards Outlook for 2019, stating, amongst other things, that by end of this Parliament the proportion of children living in relative poverty, after housing costs, is on course to hit 37%.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
Labour splits on Brexit were again laid bare with Sir Keir Starmer appearing to suggest that pushing for a general election was no longer a ‘credible option’ for the party to pursue. However other frontbenchers threatened to quit the party if Jeremy Corbyn failed to back a second Brexit referendum push. Meanwhile Tory eurosceptics set to rebel in a key Commons vote over fears of Government preparation to rule out a no-deal Brexit.
Dozens of former UK ambassadors and high commissioners have called on Theresa May to delay Brexit and consider the ‘powerful argument’ for a second EU referendum.
Geoffrey Cox is to hold talks in Brussels on Monday and give a speech in London on Thursday outlining how he thinks Britain can eliminate the risk of being trapped in a customs union with the EU.
The European Council has published its decision on the signing, on behalf of the EU and of the European Atomic Energy Community, of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the bloc.
Theresa May has been urged by four of her own Cabinet ministers to rule out the possibility of a no-deal Brexit by the end of the month or face a wave or resignations from the Government. Meanwhile, in a blow to the prime minister’s Brexit strategy, three pro-EU Tories have defected to The Independent Group, joining eight former Labour MPs. Meanwhile members of the Brexit Delivery Group, which is made up of Tory Leavers and Remainers, have told Number 10 they will back an attempt to extend art 50 if the Prime Minister fails to pass a new deal in the Commons next week and Jeremy Corbyn has been warned that a further raft of Labour MPs are ready to quit the party unless he backs calls for a second EU referendum.
Theresa May is to put new proposals to the EU regarding the Northern Ireland backstop, ditching the Malthouse compromise. The FT reports that she sought to restart the stalled talks with a three-track negotiation.
EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has admitted he has little hope that the UK and EU will avoid a no-deal Brexit.
The Financial Times reports that, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on March 29th, negotiators’ clocks will reset to the cliff-edge date of April 18th at which point the UK must confirm whether to make about €7bn of net contributions for the EU’s 2019 budget.